Archive for April, 2011

Minor Setback

I have a little catching up to do! My Easter Sunday was full of food! I ate way more than necessary and definitely not within my goals, but it was a special occasion, so I’m not too torn up about it. I started out ok, but then there were lemon bars for dessert! For some reason, I have a real weakness for lemon bars. It’s weird because I don’t really like any other baked goods with lemon in them, but lemon bars are just delish and these were the cream of the crop lemon bars!

Despite seeing an increase of a couple of pounds on the scale on Monday morning, I was back on the wagon and am already back to seeing the range I want to be at right now. After slightly more than a week of tracking my food and staying between 1700-1800 on non-workout days and about 2000 on workout days, I’m happy with this amount and plan to stay here for the next week. I’m going to re-evaluate weekly until I’m back to my happy weight.

Yesterday was a lifting day, my last A workout of Stage 3:

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lb DB with 105s rest

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 6 @ 33 lb DBs with 105s rest

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 @ 80 lbs BB with 105s rest

C1. Dumbbell single arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 6 @ 12 lb and 25 lb DBs with 105s rest

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 6 @ 23 lb DBs with 105s rest

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 90s @ BW with 105s rest

D2. Reverse Wood Chop – 3 sets of 6 @ purple band with 105s rest

Body Weight Matrix (25 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 lunge jumps each leg, and 24 jump squats) – 2 sets timed (1st: 3 min 10 sec; 2nd: 3 min 1 sec)

I’ll be finishing Stage 3 with workout B tomorrow after work. This weekend is going to be a tough one on the nutrition front. We’re going away for the weekend to go to the Foxfield horse races in Charlottesville, VA. It’s going to be a blast, but the food options are not going to be very conducive to following my plan. I’m going to have to plan ahead to make things work for me.


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Free Training

It used to be that I could go to the gym, do my workout, shower and get home without speaking to a single person. It’s not that I’m antisocial or anything, but usually I prefer to just get my workout done, and get out. I’ve never really had a need to be buddy-buddy with anyone at the gym. Lately, it seems like I’m just a magnet for conversation. Yesterday, I got to the gym and the main floor was relatively quiet, but the weight room was pretty busy for a Friday evening. After a quick warm-up, I dove into my NROLW routine. After a few sets, a guy came up to me and asked if what I kept my legs straight or bent doing what I was (single-leg Romanian deadlift) and whether it worked the hamstrings because he had been having trouble with his hamstrings. I said yes it did and briefly explained how to do it so I could get back to my next set. A few sets later and go figure, the guy is trying the move! And his form was all wrong. I felt obligated to go correct him because the way he was moving he was bound to hurt his back. I never thought for a second that he would actually try it right then! His form in the next few reps were much better, thank goodness. I think he must have thought I was a trainer or something at first. He made a comment about getting some “free training” and I made sure to tell him that I was definitely  not a trainer. Through all this, I lost track a bit of my rest times, which kind of bugs me, but oh well. I hope the guy has better luck with his hamstrings in the future and doesn’t hurt himself doing anything he tried because I did it first!

My workout was NROLW stage 3 workout A.

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 6 with 105s Rest @ 17.5 lb DBs

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 6 with 105s Rest @ 30 lb DBs

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 with 105s Rest @ 85 lb barbell (1st set) and 75 lb barbell (2nd and 3rd set)

C1. Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 6 with 105s Rest @ 12.5 lb and 25 lb DBs

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 6 with 105s Rest @ 22.5 lb

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 120s with 105s Rest @ BW

D2. Reverse Wood Chop – 3 sets of 6 with 25 lb (1st set), 20 lb (2nd set), 25 lb (3rd set)

Body Weight Matrix – 2 sets (24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 lunge jumps each leg, 24 squat jumps)

Eating-wise, I’ve stuck to the plan the last few days. Thursday ended with 1772 calories, Friday with about 1685 calories and today (Saturday) with about 1886 calories. Today was a little high, but yesterday was a little low and I worked out, so I thought it would even out a bit. Friday and Saturday are approximate because we went out for dinner on Friday night and I had leftovers (white pizza with red peppers, mushrooms and artichokes) today for lunch. It was delicious and worth every bite. 🙂

Tomorrow morning we need to get to the gym between 8 AM and 2 PM because it closes early for Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter!

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As Expected

The scale was back in the range I expected this morning. I made a few changes to my eating plans for yesterday, but still hit my goal range for calories and macronutrient ratios. Today was a success too, but I was hungry through the early afternoon. My breakfast and morning snack were identical to yesterday, except I had a cup of green tea yesterday. Maybe the small amount of caffeine suppressed my appetite yesterday? Or perhaps it was the timing of my meals? I had my usual big salad for dinner instead of lunch today, so that could have contributed as well. Total calories for today were 1720.

Tomorrow I have an early morning to get to class, so apologies for the late stream of consciousness post. It’s late, I’m tired and I’m not even really sure why I’m posting instead of sleeping. My class is public speaking and I am giving my last speech of the semester, so it’s probably nerves keeping me up. I can’t wait for this class to be over! It’s the last requirement to complete before starting veterinary school in the fall! Woohoo!

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NROLW workout

I should have gone to the gym straight from work, but I didn’t. I almost talked myself out of going at all. Somehow, though, I managed to drag myself there at 6:00PM. It was really crowded in the free weight area. Out of about seven Olympic barbells, only one was available when I got there (they’re spread across several benches and two squat racks). I think every personal trainer had a client there tonight and all the “regulars” were lifting too. It was a madhouse. Normally I lift at my mom’s on Tuesdays so I guess I usually just miss this peak time. Thank goodness I won’t have to deal with it again. Fortunately, it worked out that everything I needed was available when I needed it with the exception of 10# dumbbells for YTWL.

Anyways, without further adieu, here is my workout. All exercises were 3 sets of 6 with 105s rest.

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift/Bent over row @ 65#
B1. Partial single leg squat @ 15#
B2. Wide grip lat pulldown @ 75#
C1. Back Extension @ 25#
C2. YTWL @ 7.5#
D1. Swiss ball crunch @ 15# (overhead)
D2. Reverse crunch @ BW
D3. Lateral flexion @ BW
E1. Prone cobra @ BW for 90s

Intervals (15 minutes)
1 min @ 3.5 mph
1 min @ 4.0 mph
1 min @ 5.0 mph
1 min @ 8.0 mph
2 min @ 5.0 mph
1 min @ 8.5 mph
2 min @ 5.0 mph
1 min @ 8.5 mph
2 min @ 5.0 mph
1 min @ 9.0 mph
1 min @ 5.0 mph
1 min @ 4.0 mph
Machine’s cooldown.

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Already a loss?

Yesterday, I ended up eating 1713 calories, which is a little less than predicted. My dinner plans had included two servings of broccoli, thinking I had some in the freezer but I did not. I subbed a single serving of frozen peas and carrots instead and had more than enough food.

This morning I stepped on the scale. Imagine my surprise when it showed a loss of another 1.6 pounds since yesterday morning and a number I haven’t seen in probably 6 months! I know this is probably just a normal weight fluctuation or my scale is broken, but it’s still nice to get that momentary gratification. 🙂 A pound or more in a day is really a much faster rate of weight loss than I want to maintain. If this trend continues, which I doubt it will, I will probably have to increase calories a bit. I am very satisfied on the amount I’m eating right now and do not feel hungry at any time during the day (except when I first wake up in the morning), so I shouldn’t need more but we’ll see. Logging will help me notice trends like this.

I forgot to mention one of the other changes I have made to my diet. I used to religiously eat 5-6 times a day, with 2 big meals and 3-4 smaller snacks. Recently, I had been eating two large meals and one small and a continuous snacking off and on through the evening after getting home from work. Needless to say, that had to go. I’m back to planning for five times a day with an additional shake or smoothie on workout days.

Today is a workout day, so I’m planning to eat 2049 calories. I already had 305.5 for breakfast (milk, cottage cheese and raisins), 300.5 for a morning snack/2nd breakfast (hobbits anyone?) of oatmeal and some add-ins, and I just finished a BIG salad for lunch with 637.5 calories. I’ll have a small afternoon snack of carrots and hummus again for 85 calories, do my workout and then have a post-workout protein shake for 170 calories. Dinner will be 550 cals of leftovers from last night plus some cooked spinach and a little dark chocolate. 🙂 This is 27.41% cals from protein, 32.34% from fat and 40.25% from carbs. By the way, I find it funny that the Daily Plate tells me that I’m over my recommended amount of fat and protein every day. It also hates the amount of cholesterol (from eggs on my salad), but I must say I’m not convinced that dietary cholesterol has much effect on body chemistry. I used to have high cholesterol while avoiding fatty foods and foods with high cholesterol, then when I changed to eating closely to the way I am now, my cholesterol went down. Go figure. Of course there were other factors that I’m sure contributed, but it doesn’t seem like a couple of eggs every day has much effect on my levels.

My workout is New Rules of Lifting for Women stage 3 workout B and 15 minutes of running intervals. Exact workout may be posted later, but I don’t have it in front of me at the moment.

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Finding Balance

Has there ever been a time when you felt your life got really out of balance? I know I have. After Timberman last summer, I was so relieved to have completed it that I essentially stopped trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I think I had gotten out of balance by putting so much time and effort into training and thinking about training and eating for training for nearly a year that once it was all over I went a little overboard in allowing myself to eat junk and not exercise. I remained active by normal standards (walking daily), but in comparison to my previous commitment to 1-3 hours of exercise at least 5 days a week, I was a sedentary blob.

As a result, I was feeling pretty disgusted and annoyed with myself, and as any readers still out there know, increasingly neglected my blog because I just couldn’t own up to the lack of focus in my fitness journey any longer. I gained about 10 pounds pretty quickly after the HIM and could tell my body composition had changed for the worse. I knew I needed to get myself back on track without the illusion of accountability from recording on the blog. I decided not to do any races this year and start with just 2 days a week of working out. I have continued with the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLW) program. I recently added a third workout day in every week, so I lift with my mom usually on Tuesdays and I lift with Curtis on Thursdays and Sundays. I also run with a friend on Fridays when it works with both of our busy schedules. I’m really happy with this schedule. I still walk daily with Tara as well and feel it is just the right amount if exercise for me right now. I wouldn’t mind adding another 2 days eventually, but I am still building back to that. Since the NROLW program has interval training worked in, I’m still usually running 1-2 times per week but in short and sweet doses (about 15 minutes) that I can handle.

I am just now (started last week) trying to get my nutrition in line. Even though I had gotten back on a regular exercise schedule I hadn’t lost any of that extra weight I was carrying. I was still eating poorly and too much. Last week, my focus was to get more protein in my diet, less refined carbs (and more whole grains and fruits/veggies) and be more mindful of my portion sizes. With just those things, I lost 2.4 pounds. This week, I’m tracking my diet to see where I’m at calorie-wise and what my macronutrient ratios look like. Ideally I’d like to aim for 1700 calories on non-lifting days and 2000 calories on lifting days with 30% from protein, 30% from fat and 40% from carbs. If I have another loss this week I’ll stick with the same calories in for next week. If I have a gain or maintenance, I’m going to decrease by 200-300 each day. I’m using The Daily Plate at for tracking.

For today, my breakfast (oatmeal with add-ins for protein) was 330 cals. Morning snack of cottage cheese and raisins came in at 210 cals. My lunch salad was about 458 calories. I have an 85 calorie afternoon snack of hummus and carrots planned. My dinner of quinoa, broccoli and turkey burgers with a desset of dark chocolate is planned for 674 calories. That gives a total of about 1757 for the day. My meals are a little weird on Mondays because my afternoon is scrunched since I have dog training in the evening and eat my last meal around 5pm before I leave for training. Most other nights my dinners fall between 7 and 8 pm.

I’m not promising a daily update on progress, but I’ll be checking-in.